If you read my previous blog post on why I stopped counting calories, you know that I am getting ready to start a new health & fitness program with my Challenge Group called 80 Day Obsession. This program’s meal-plan piggy backs off of the 21 Day Fix and Portion Fix plans from years past. Don’t get me wrong here – these plans are excellent plans. However, the point of me writing to you today is to urge you to be reasonable.
What do I mean by that?!?
Understand that until you learn to just eat, to be a student of your own body and needs, and until you understand that a plan that works for you is not going to be the same plan that works for someone else, you will not win this game. You will be frustrated. You may reach your goals, but your chances of going back to your old ways are high.
Of course, this goes for any “diet.” Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Keto, Paleo, etc, etc, etc… You can follow them to a T – but if you don’t adjust them to work for your body, they will fail you in the long run.
For our purposes here, I am going to focus on the meal program that I am most familiar with – Portion Fix.
As a Beachbody Coach, I am sure you are surprised to know that I see many failures and missed opportunities for success within this meal plan.
Here are some positives of the program:
- There is a Food List with healthy options, listed from most nutritious to least. AMAZING! There are so many of us who still don’t recognize healthy food and unhealthy food when we see it. We have been trained that way. And, we were not taught properly in school. Grrr – I could go on a rant about that allll day. I digress.
- This is the 1st Beachbody program to give us a list – and to focus on whole foods rather than recipes. This gives us options!
- Using the containers will teach you to know what a proper portion looks like. It is important to be able to use your eyes and not have to carry a scale in your bag.
Here are some fails of the program:
- The calorie levels are too low. There is a calculator in the program that bases your needs off of your current weight, goals, etc. Many women end up in the 1200 to 1400 calorie range. I am not sure that I even agree this range should exist. It is way low. We are busy people. We need calories. When you decrease them, your metabolism slows to match the decrease. Isn’t the point to speed your metabolism so that you lose weight? Ahem. Okay. I was actually stuck at one weight for close to a year. When I added in 300-500 more calories, the weight melted. Please, read the last blog post if you didn’t already. There is so much more to say on this matter.
- This plan has you eating 5 to 6 meals a day. There is a lot of science behind the fact that eating 3 meals a day, or even less, actually keeps your body in fat burning mode. When you continue to feed your body all day, your insulin levels stay high, and therefore you are in fat storage mode – and only burning glycogen from carbs and fruit. That brings me to #3…
- The plan is too heavy on the sugars (fruit) and carbohydrates. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes on that. Carbs turn to sugar, and, fruit is recognized by the body as sugar. When we have too much sugar in our bloodstream, our insulin levels raise or spike, and that insulin tells our body to store fat. A lot of the foods listed for the yellow/carb container and the purple/fruit container should not be consumed on a regular basis.
Here’s a list of these foods that are okay, in my opinion.
From the Carb category – Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Plantains, Peas
From the Fruit category – Berries
I want you to careful with all of the others, including bananas and grapes, white potatoes and rices, oatmeal, beans, pastas, breads, and cereals. Just know that eating these may lead to bloat and may hinder your progress. You do not want to promote fat storage. You want to be a fat burner!
- There are not enough healthy fats in the program. Most of us grew up in the age of low-fat, no-fat (and over processed, fake) foods. We have been lead to believe that fats are bad for us. This is so backwards!! Did you know that our mitochondria – the power houses of our cells – actually prefer to burn fats over sugars?! Becoming a fat burner leads to higher physical and mental performance. Use Google Scholar and check out the research. Also, you can check this program out. It is LOADED with info and research. No, I don’t work for that company. I just believe in it! Fats are good for our cells, our brains, and most importantly, our hormones! And our hormones control our hunger. Satiating your body with healthy fats will keep you fuller, longer, and you will no longer feel the need to eat every 2-3 hours.
- Not everyone fits into one plan. Like I said before, this is a great plan for beginners. But please, PLEASE, consider listening to your body. Consider trading out a yellow or purple for another blue. Consider incorporating more healthy fats in and eating less times per day.
If you have tried the 21 Day Fix program, Portion Fix, or any other meal plan and it didn’t work for you, here is what I suggest:
One morning, have a high carb breakfast like oatmeal, waffles, and have some fruit. Two and three hours later, journal how you feel. Are you hungry? Are you having cravings? Are you satisfied? Are you already thinking about lunch? Do you have energy? Are you bloated?
Three days later, have a high fat/low carb/moderate protein breakfast such as “bulletproof” or high fat coffee, or bacon and eggs made with real butter. Ask yourself the same questions 2 hours and 3 hours later.
Compare your days. Which day did you feel better?
In closing, I think the key to your success, is finding what works for you. Don’t be afraid to go “off plan” if your gut is literally or figuratively telling you to do that. Keep a written log of how you feel and learn what works best for you. Give yourself grace to have treats and to go off track. You can always get right back to it the next meal. No worries. Don’t stress!
As always, I wish you love and health,